Monday, May 6, 2013

We've Got Your Back 5K (Coos Bay) Race Report

Surprise! I raced a 5K on Saturday.  It was the "We've Got Your Back 5K" put on by the Spinal Research Foundation, as a way to benefit "spinal health care through research, education and patient advocacy".
I'm not even sure how I happened across this race, but somehow I saw it online a couple of days before the Eugene Marathon and kind of kept the thought of running it in the back of my mind all week.  The biggest incentive:
Are you kidding me?!  Cash (and we're talking fairly large amounts of it) prizes to the overall winners for a small local 5K... hard to pass up.  In addition to the money, another big draw for me was that the start/finish wasn't too far from my house, so I could just use the distance as a warmup/cool down run and a little bit of extra mileage on the day.

I went back and forth all week and honestly didn't make up my mind to run it until race day morning.  When I finally got out of the house to head to the start and register (which I have never done day of race before) I went about 20 feet before I noticed that there was a huge "2 mi" sign spray painted on the road.

I immediately ran back in the door to tell my family that it looked as though the race would be running right past our house - in case they wanted to come out and cheer.  At that point I was so glad that I had decided to run, if I had stayed home and then watched the race run by, I would've been so bummed.

After barely a mile, (and a few more signs, that I was indeed running my warm up on the actual course)
I was at the health fair that they had put together.  I quickly filled out the waiver, paid my $25 and received my race bib, as well as a bag and a shirt.  It all went super fast, which left me with a good 30 minutes to talk to a few people, take a few pictures and do a little bit more warming up, although the temperatures were quickly warming up and it didn't take much to work up a sweat.
In an attempt to get some happy feelings and maybe a little racing mojo back into my Eugene marathon attitude, I thought it would be a good idea to sport my Eugene Marathon shirt for this race.
I wasn't the only one, as there were at least 3 other runners there paying tribute to last weekend's big marathon.  Before I knew it, it was time to head to the starting line, were I had the opportunity to talk to the Eclectic Edge Racing guy (I believe his name is James) that had come over from Track Town USA for our little race.  He made me feel like a rock star when he asked if I'd "run a few of their races before because my name looked familiar".  I explained that I was a recent Eugene transplant and was excited to see that Eclectic Edge was doing this race because they always do a stellar job (and that really is true, they're awesome).

A few quick instructions (including a note about the hilliness of the course, yeah, I was well aware of that, there really isn't a flat place to run in this town) and a thank you to the generous sponsors and we were ready to go.  I lined up right on the start line because with no chip timing and cash prizes on the line, I wanted to be ready to run.  A quick countdown and all 69 of us (43 women, 26 men) were sent up the hill and on our way.  We went out fast... I knew we would.  From the start, there were three guys and a girl that were gone then another guy, a girl and me trailing behind them.  There was one more girl behind us and then the rest of the pack.

After the brief uphill from the start, we ran through the hospital parking lot (where one of the 3 lead men started walking?!) and then out onto the road and up another hill.  At this point, I was even with the girl next to me as well as another guy and we were gaining on the lead girl.  Pretty soon the first mile sign passed.  Mile 1: 6:54.

My goal was to hopefully stick right around 7 minute miles and maybe pick up a nice little PR of under 21:31 or even better sub 21.  As we started running the real hills though between miles 1 and 2, I knew that wasn't going to be very likely.  The temperature had really picked up and I had definitely not been doing enough speed work to be 5K PR ready.  As we were going up what seemed like a never ending hill, I pulled away from the girl I had been running alongside and easily caught and pulled away from the lead girl.  Was I seriously leading the women?!

At the top of the hill I started to get really excited because we were now in my neighborhood and getting closer and closer to my house and the 2 mile marker.  It was also about this time that I realized I had not had any water at all that morning.  I was soooo thirsty.  I began using all of my mental powers to subliminally send Dan a message to have some water ready for me when I ran by the house.  I knew it was a long shot but kept thinking it over and over and over "please have some water... please have some water".  Lo and behold, as we came around the corner and towards my house, I could see my kiddos sitting on the fence holding up signs and the greatest sight ever, Dan standing in the middle of the street holding a big green plastic cup of water.  I probably would've finished the race without it, but it would've been a long, dry, last mile.  I quickly gulped down some of the water and used a veteran running move to toss the cup back to the side of the road (to which one of my kids (Calvin?) yelled, "Hey, she just threw the glass!".   The poor guy that I had been running just slightly in front of apparently went to my yard also, in hopes of a drink but the unofficial water stop had only stocked enough for me.  As I was turning the corner, I heard Dan say, "I'm sorry man, I don't have any more". Mile 2: 8:14.

I realized that the PR was pretty much out of the question but at the same time realized that the overall female win wasn't so not all was lost.  (Not all was lost, no kidding, I was about to win $300!!!!)  The last mile, was mostly downhill, which is the way all races should finish.  I probably could've pushed it a little bit more, but with the PR unattainable and my position in the race pretty much locked up I gave it a solid hard effort.
Mile 3: 7:21
last .07 (I did a great job running the tangents... it helps to know the course): 5:53 pace (see, I kicked it in to finish)
Here's a look at our hills:
Not too crazy, but definitely not flat and trust me, you could feel them.

Overall finish time: 22:53 for 3rd place overall and 1st female
I grabbed a water, a banana and a chocolate caramel cookie (hello yumminess!!) and stood alongside the last little stretch to cheer in the other 5K finishers.

It was a beautifully warm day for May 4th on the Oregon coast and I enjoyed standing around talking to other racers, some local and some just in town for the weekend.  I thought the awards ceremony would be after the 1 mile fun run/walk so I ended up missing it while talking to Dan on the phone.  I heard my name announced and had to run back to the finishing area to belatedly pick up my prize.  Oops!
Then it was a quick mile cool down back home where I took my sweaty, post race self portrait
and was met with some pretty awesome signs, from Dan on the front door:
If you're worried about his spelling abilities, it is kind of an inside joke.
and from the kiddos:
I love Jonny's sign that Calvin helped with, "cars and trucks".
and a pic of all my loot, laid out (well, except the medal, one of the kids had already run off with it):
I really enjoyed this race and not just because I won (although that definitely helped) but because it was small and friendly and I absolutely adored that the course went right by my house.  The course was also well marked and there were volunteer officials at all the turns (and there where a lot of them).  The day of race registration process was quick and easy and the post race treats were plentiful.  This might just be my new "Eugene Marathon".

Oh, and in case you're wondering about the prize money, don't worry, we already spent it.  Actually, not really yet, but it's as good as spent.  Before the race, I told Dan that if I had any chance of winning we should buy a trampoline for the backyard.  The kiddos have been wanting one forever and I'm happy to be able to use something I got from running to the benefit of the whole family.


Kim said...

Looks like you were supposed to run this race. Great job! And winning prize money was a definite plus. Congratulations!

Jenna Lovell said...

Wow, congratulations! I've been hesitant to read your marathon race report because I still regret feeling like I'll never be that cool, but I'm all over a 5K report (I'll get the courage to read the marathon report too, eventually). This was really exciting and I'm so happy that Dan got your mental messages! What a great day for you. Congrats!!

Heather said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!!! This is just what you needed! Even though we all already know about your awesomeness when it comes to running, it's still a little boost after Eugene. So glad you decided to run it--and even cooler that EVERY bouncy minute of fun the kids have in the backyard now you get to say "yah, that's cuz your mom ROCKS as a runner!!!"

Diana Martinez said...

Wow! Congrats!!

Marci said...


Dick said...

Good job, Laurie!!

As far as the trampoline goes, good luck. We had ours up for two days (I think you were still living at home then, but I can't remember for sure) and your psycho little brother managed to break his arm. I think we gave it away shortly after that.

You and Heather should DESTROY Newport!

Elizabeth said...

Congrats! That is really cool.

BeePie Runs said...

So SO awesome!! I love that you won and got your running mojo back! And a trampoline is a fantastic idea - although you may need to win a couple more races to pay for the dr. Bills if anyone breaks a limb - eek ;-)

Elder Peck c/o Melissa Peck said...

SO FANTASTIC!!!!! How exciting and what an accomplishment! I might have to let you teach me how to run.... well no, Ill just watch you and cheer you on!! GREAT JOB!!! -Melissa

me/mom/NANA said...

We had one also when we lived in Coos Bay. The kids all loved it and no broken bones for us. I was very surprised. Emme already had a broken arm so she should be safe. Enjoy it.

Catey said...

Wow! Best rebound race EVER! Congrats!